Learning how your employees learn could be the best use of your time yet. By understanding the three learning styles, leaders can maximize effectiveness not only in training but also business in general. There are three types of learners: Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic. In a previous article, I shared with you a learner who was so Auditory, she knitted a whole Teddy Bear in our 4-week class and was almost perfect on her exams. It was this inspiring situation that caused me to look further into learning styles and the psychology of learning. This week we will explore visual learning.
Some learners need to see the material to process the information you are providing. To appeal to visual learners, it's important to incorporate visual elements into your teaching or presentation. Here are a few strategies to engage visual learners:
1. Use visual aids: Utilize tools like charts, graphs, diagrams, and pictures to visually represent information. This will help visual learners grasp and retain concepts more easily. I’m not a fan of PowerPoint, however, this is an excellent tool to incorporate some visual aids into your presentation.
2. Provide written materials: Offer handouts or written summaries of your content. Visual learners often benefit from reading and seeing information simultaneously. They will often ask for copies of the PowerPoint or handouts to supplement what you are showing them on screen.
3. Use visual storytelling: Present information through visual narratives or stories. This could involve using images, videos, or animations to convey complex ideas or concepts. Storytelling is an art form. If you can describe in detail scenarios that pertain to the subject matter, your visual learners will have a field day intaking new information!
4. Use video to illustrate points: As I said earlier, I am not a fan of PowerPoint, not because PowerPoint is not a great program, but because too many people rely on it to teach for them. Many instructors treat PowerPoint as a research paper and read it off to their classes as they move along. Your visual learners will exit the building!!! YouTube is the best source of content for your subject matter. Choose videos that are relevant most of all, but also short (not longer than 1 minute), humorous, and that evoke emotion. My favorite video to use in leadership is the movie clip Facing Giants, where a football coach demonstrates all the skills necessary to motivate his team to compete against a better team. I begin with this and teach the entire lesson from it. What does this do? It keeps the learner engaged, and they always have a reference point when the source material is a little hard to understand.
Remember, it's important to vary your teaching methods to accommodate different learning styles. By incorporating visual elements into your instruction, you can effectively engage and support visual learners in their learning journey. Next, we will explore Kinesthetic learners and how much attention they need to learn.